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Old 11-07-2011, 07:32 PM   #21
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My 3 weeks vacation was all gone by mid September this year..another reason I want to retire..not enough time off!
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Old 11-07-2011, 08:49 PM   #22
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I use all mine and wish I had more. We have a use it or lose it policy and a low limit on how much you can carry from year to year. When we have year end crunch time, this policy is a good argument why people cannot be asked to cancel vacation - because if they agree they will lose the time anyway.
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Old 11-07-2011, 11:00 PM   #23
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I've been with my company about 12 years, I receive 4 weeks vacation and max is 5 weeks around year 15 or 20. We can only carry over 40 hours each year, the rest we lose. I make it a point to be at the 40 or less mark on my anniversary.

Paid vacation is part of my total compensation and if I give up any, that is like handing money back from my pay. If I have to use a day to take the car in for repair, go to the Dentist, or whatever, I don't have a problem with that.

I wish we could cash some out or even carry more over, but that is not an option right now.
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Old 11-07-2011, 11:17 PM   #24
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I use them as I get them - i only have 12 hrs stockpiled. I work 2 days a week and use 1 vacation day every 2 weeks, so I don't take vacation days in clumps.
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Old 11-08-2011, 06:54 AM   #25
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We're allowed to roll over 100 hours/year. Anything over that gets cashed out at .50/$1. There's also a 'catastrophic' pool we can put time into, but it loses all cash value and you would have to have some sort of documentable catastrophe to use it - after you've used up all your vacation time for that year.

Personally, I roll over the 100 hours every year and use the rest of it. Makes me feel more secure that I can take a couple random days and not have to worry about running out of leave. Also if I walk out the door and don't come back, I know I get one more check.

Often this 'leave' turns into 'work from home/on vaca' as I'm currently stuck with a few responsibilities with no backup. I coordinate with the people who will need me to do things while I'm on vaca so that it won't be a major inconvenience. Being able to manage that while still taking care of myself has been a strong card in my favor during EOY performance evals.

Not for everyone, but I knew what I was getting myself into and I'm still in the accumulation phase with my foot on the gas.
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Old 11-08-2011, 06:56 AM   #26
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I'm retired, but when I was w*rking, I got 5 weeks a year. I'm proud to say that I never gave back a single day, though I'm sure it hurt me in my career. The culture there was to not take all of your vacation and tell anyone that would listen about it at the end of the year.
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Old 11-08-2011, 07:29 AM   #27
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As a business owner I don't see how I could survive with people taking an entire month off at a time. How does your job get done when you take off 8 weeks a year? I wouldn't have a person who is out that much handling critical projects.

I give 2 weeks vacation/1 week "leave" and every single office person uses it practically by the minute, and often the office folks go way over their time and take unpaid days off. After 5 years you get 3 weeks vacation/1 week "leave". Plus if there is even a hint of snow in the forecast we have a skeleton crew. Many feel our office should follow school closings.

I have 8 office employees and have never ever had all 8 in all week for every hour open. It's really hard to be productive, and I end up over hiring to deal with all the time out. My field reps have way better attendance.

You all must work for big business, where I believe the nature of the beast is that there is lots of waste and time spent unproductively.
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Old 11-08-2011, 07:37 AM   #28
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................
You all must work for big business, where I believe the nature of the beast is that there is lots of waste and time spent unproductively.
You are preaching to the wrong audience if you think that minutes not worked are a waste of time or are unproductive.
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Old 11-08-2011, 07:47 AM   #29
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You are preaching to the wrong audience if you think that minutes not worked are a waste of time or are unproductive.
I'm saying from a business perspective, not personal. It's hard for a business to run with people gone.
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Old 11-08-2011, 08:01 AM   #30
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I'm saying from a business perspective, not personal. It's hard for a business to run with people gone.
I understand what you are saying, but I'd argue that employees need time off to live productive lives, both in the office and out. I've worked for enough bosses to recognize that face time is not the same as productive time. And as a boss myself, I found that planning goes a long way toward providing the flexibility that allows employees to both have a life and get their work done.
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Old 11-08-2011, 08:18 AM   #31
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I'm saying from a business perspective, not personal. It's hard for a business to run with people gone.
I agree with you that having people gone can hamper business.... But, if you give your employees vacation time as part of their comp, you have have to manage the business to handle that. If your office reqiures 12 people to run, and you give each person 4 weeks off a year, you need to have 13 people on staff. It is not fair for you as a business owner to tell someone that they have vacation time, but once they start you tell them they cannot take it.

As a business owner, have to manage your outage. You could make rules that only one person can be out at a time, or no more than two weeks off in a row. But if you give people vacation time and do not allow them to use it, you will eventually lose them, unless the other perks you give them compensate.

Right now the employment environment is good for the business owner, but at some time it will turn around, do you think your employees will stay if the guy across the street is offering the same pay but gives and lets them take more vacation?

There are a few firms I know of now that do not have a vacation policy at all. You are required to get your work done and can take off as much time as you like. They tend to be High Tech firms.
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Old 11-08-2011, 08:58 AM   #32
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As far as U.S. employers go, my vacation policy is pretty generous -- basically a total of 26 days, five weeks plus one "floating holiday". But yeah, in today's business world there's just never a "good time" to take it. All excess capacity has been laid off in most places and most workplaces are functioning with close to the bare minimum headcount required to get the job done.

Plus, in an era of job insecurity people are afraid to take extended vacations; the fear is that if someone is gone (say) 2-3 weeks and the organization doesn't really feel the absence, will they decide they don't really need you after all?

For what it's worth, I usually take one or two week-long vacations during the year, and come October or so if there's no more travel planned for the year I burn the rest of my vacation time by taking three-day weekends for the rest of the year.
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Old 11-08-2011, 12:22 PM   #33
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I'm saying from a business perspective, not personal. It's hard for a business to run with people gone.
Yes it's true that it's hard for a business to run with people gone. At our company, we know who is off and fill in as needed to get the work done.
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Old 11-08-2011, 12:31 PM   #34
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I know what Maryland is saying, though. I've always worked in small businesses rather than the megas, so it is a serious burden when people take time off. But you just gotta do it. I know that it is a hardship on my boss when I leave, but I am simply not wired to stay chained to the desk, week in and week out. He tries very hard not to make me feel guilty when I go, but I know my not being there means he's got to do more.
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Old 11-08-2011, 02:15 PM   #35
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Just for the record, I never blink an eye at vacation. Some people I have to force to take their time, others use it up within moments of their new year. I take vacation, I expect everyone needs to. This large company we're in negotiations with want us to work for them and want to give us a whopping 40 hrs vacation a year.

For those who never worked at a small biz, sometimes it's hard to get enough trained workers to cover people calling out. Not planned vacations, but the calling out over a variety of issues. Out of 8 people in the office, I had 3 out yesterday. A new person was starting, 2 of them were needed to help train. We adapted, but it seems sometimes all I do is adapt for the whims of employees.

And, I've noticed for years, it is the office people that call out all the time, not the people out on the road. Just interesting is all. And the moms of young kids have the best track record of attendance btw.

I have to protect the business and everyone who depends on my business doing well to pay their bills, feed their children, etc. I don't get the luxury of walking out the door at the end of the night and not thinking about work til I walk in the door the next moment. I took it on and over the years it's worn me down, which is why I want out after all these years. I read this back - it's so obvious I'm burned out and need a break.
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Old 11-08-2011, 02:35 PM   #36
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I get 4 weeks vacation per year, 3 personal days and another 2 weeks in holidays like Thanksgiving and Xmas. We can carry a max of 320 hrs between years. That's university life for you!
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Old 11-08-2011, 06:05 PM   #37
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Vacation days? Every day is a vacation day for me, ever since I was free of megacorp shackles.

Well, not quite, because I do take occasional breaks from vacation to go do some work, if it is more interesting than the putzing projects that I create for myself at home.
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Old 11-08-2011, 07:25 PM   #38
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My Megacorp was always schizophrenic about vacation (and many other employee benefits). The company line was that we should use all our vacaion, but when the time came, we were still responsible for all our w*rk. Needless to say, many of us lost vacation. Toward the end of my c*reer, I started to take all my vacation since I knew my time was relatively short (years, not decades).

The worst vacation related stunt the company pulled was to suddenly announce that we could no longer save over vacation - nor would they pay for vacation that had been saved over. So, I lost 4 weeks of vacation. That was when I decided I had had about enough. I DID take that lost vacation before I left. I just didn't call it vacation, heh, heh.
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Old 11-08-2011, 08:07 PM   #39
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I used my vacation as I accrued it, not carrying any "use or lose" over a 12 month period.
I was one of the few who actually w*rked during the Christmas to New Years' period, the annual ghost town time.
My late husband had lots of overseas TDYs, the longest having been for 26 days . So I would fly over after he was all done and we would take nice vacations afterward, completely on our own nickel. Our employer was fully aware of my accompanying trips and approved.
I got to go to Puerto Rico, Europe, Greece (Athens and Crete), and several warm states with beaches in the US.
My own TDYs were somewhat tame by comparison. I was being sent to places like San Diego, San Antonio, Orlando, Las Vegas, Boston, Wash DC, and Iowa.
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